The Vancouver Island Technology Park today announced that it has been selected to join the Microsoft BizSpark Program as a Network Partner. The BizSpark Program is a new global program designed to accelerate the success of early stage Startups by connecting them to Network Partners: active members of the global software ecosystem who can provide mentorship, guidance and resources to BizSpark Startups. BizSpark creates an ongoing, mutually beneficial ecosystem between Microsoft, Startups and Network Partners.

“The Vancouver Island Technology Park continues to search for innovative ways in which we can assist our young companies,” says Av Hundle, Manager, Business Development and Marketing. “We are deligted to be selected by Microsoft BizSpark to provide such an offering to our hi-tech community in Victoria. It is our responsibility as a technology park to continue to assist and foster the ideas of tomorrow.”

Microsoft is committed to helping entrepreneurs transform their ambitions into sustainable, dynamic businesses and to foster innovation and entrepreneurialism. To this end, the BizSpark Program provides Startups with software, support and visibility at a time when they are most valuable and least affordable—during their first three years, with no upfront costs and minimal requirements.

“We understand the difficulties startups face in trying to create a viable, scalable and sustainable business, especially in today’s economy,” says Martin Schray of Microsoft Corp. “Microsoft BizSpark provides startups with a unique opportunity to grow their business by taking advantage of the breadth of the Microsoft platform, our global partner ecosystem and new ways to gain market exposure.”

BizSpark gives Startups fast and easy access to Microsoft’s current full-featured development tools, platform technologies as well as production licenses to bring to market innovative and interoperable solutions for the next generation of user experiences.

To be eligible for the Microsoft BizSpark Program, Startups must be actively engaged in development of a software-based product or service that is a core piece of their business model, have been in business less than three years, and have less than USD$1M in revenue. Startups may enroll for the program by obtaining sponsorship from a designated BizSpark Network partner.